Last Monday morning in St. Petersburg, Florida, officers responded to a rash of complaints involving a small group of pit bulls that had gotten loose and allegedly bitten two elderly women in the neighborhood.
Authorities arrived at the 2100 block of 21st Street South to find Robin Macon, 62, and Laquanda Butler, 52, both suffering from dog bite injuries sustained from 5 pit bull terriers that had escaped through two open windows of a local residence. Emergency services were called to the scene and Macon, whose injuries were quite severe, was transported to the local hospital. The severity of the other victim’s injuries is unknown.
Pinellas Animal Control was also dispatched to the scene to assist police officers in the rounding up of the animals in question, where they ultimately had to use a combination of pepper spray and fire extinguishers to corral the loose pit bulls and contain them once they had all jumped back through the open windows of the home.
The dog owners were not home at the time of the incident, but did return in time to assist in loading the animals into a truck, where they were then transferred to a quarantine facility for mandatory observation.
Florida Statute 767.04
Florida ranks 4th in the nation for the highest number of pit bull fatalities, surpassed only by Texas, California, and Georgia. Florida Statute 767.04 states: “The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s’ knowledge of such viciousness.”
Dog Bites Safety Tips
Here at the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A., we have compiled a shortlist of safety tips to keep in mind when encountering dogs that are unfamiliar to you or your loved ones.
- Never approach a dog that is unfamiliar to you, no matter its size.
- Always ask permission from the dog’s owner to pet or interact with the dog, even though they may seem friendly.
- Do not interact with any animal that is behind a fence or inside of a vehicle.
- Never leave children or babies unattended.
For additional information on Florida dog bite laws and what to do if you have been involved in a dog bite accident, contact us today at 877-FL-INJURY, or visit the ASPCA’s website.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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